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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  December 2, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm EST

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>> charlie: welcome to our program. tonight we look atpolitics so far with mik allen politico, jon meacham of random house. >> it's so much sharper in the debates this time. you watch the wide shot. he's the only one of the candidates. i was in the hall the other night for the foreign policy debate. he turns his body to whoever is speaking. never takes notes, never refers to notes and he does that we're told to keep himself in the game. to look for opportunities to think about when he's about to get whacked. it's a sign of, it's a little signify firef the way he's
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thrown himself into this campaign. he does want it and he's willing to dwhat you need to do even when it could be humiliating. >> charlie: from politics to economic and political philosophy with maria gabriel who is on called lovend keep the and carl and kari marx. >> he saw the progression of capitalism is the state we're in, a small percentage o the population actually controls all the wealth. even the middle clas is absorbing into this ever expanding base with no real clear th to get up to that 1%. >> charlie: we conclude this evening with bes selling author lee child whose latest book is called the affair. >> you're going to make a living writing fiction. it's really like saying i'm going to win the lottery on the same day i get hit by lightening twice. it's extraordinarily unlikely but you have to believe it could happen. >> charlie: mike allen, evan
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thomas, jon meacham, marie gabriel and lee child when we continue.
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captioning sponsed b rose communications om our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> charlie: the battle for who will face president obama in next year's election is winding down. in one month republican primary voting begins at the iowa caucus. the political season has been shaped by numerous debates and scandals. a new e book captures the drama, it is lled 9 right fights back. joining me now is the author and editor mike allen chief whitehouse correspondence for politico, evan thomas is an award winning journalist and professor at princeton university and jon meachams execute editor at random house. i'm belizeed to have the three of them -- pleased to have the three of them here. we'll go to you sir. is this your idea. >> it is.
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>> charlie: this began in your head >> the idea of doing character-driven rrative. not just gasp, not just scandal not just tactics. but the human drama because as we all know the character of the king is ultimately all. what they did in the modern era is create this kind of arurian quest. the ancient story is you go in search of a prize and you face diffent traps and snares and you emerge victoriously. >> charlie: it's also behind the story isn't. >> one of the things that's interesting, what mike and evan have done, it used to be you'll say we're going to do a book in a year, so be candid. and that would elicit candor. now, in you say it's three weeks out, are people will still be candid because the cycle has become, it's not even a cycle. it's just a running. >> charlie: it's like one of the great products of the revolution is time and distance.
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do we come down to this conclusion that this is mike telling us the story that he knows but does not have either time or space for in theworld that he occupies today? >> no. this was a great device and a great excuse to go and sit down face to face just as you do with the people who are conceiving these campaigns, running these campaigns. some of the candidates. and ask them to tell their sty. they love the idea that in this time when the new cycle's kind of the new cyclone and we all have three, four stories a day. they like the idea of hitting pause, loong where we've been, where we're going. fascinating just to sit down with the romney crowd and ask them. where did this new campaign come from. what happened after 08. what we discovered was that 08 never stopped. and even when the second coming of democrats would come right after the obama election and it was mr. meacham to start.
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this is the time when everybody was rooting for barack obama would succeed. give him a year. everything with romney is the metrics. people would go in to make a case to him whether it's about buying an ad or hire been somebody it's all data driven. from 69 very first moment he was going -- from the very first moment he was going to run from the data. >> charlie: he in fact had not decided or said that his family had not made a final decision even thoughther people that he was prepared to run. >> that's right. he was going to hold back. and if obama stayed as rong as he would, he never would have gone. helped conceive the campaign and they did it on a power point appropriately enough for the big capital guy. when they put togher their power point, two of their early
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fears of the case were that a, it couldn' be only aboutitt romney, they recognize he was never going to be the most charismatic personin the racist specially running against barack obama. they needed this big field that they have. also he had to be the business guy the turn around guy. it had toe about jobs. they told us looking ahead to the general election, this was two years ago. if it was about jobs, he would probably win. if it was not he would probably lose and he would not run. >> charlie: you have also that's a porait of a man who put together a skill campaign. a man who learned all the mistakes that he made in 2008. so there was a sense a rigorous analysis of what had happened in 2008 and they set out to make sure they would the make the same mistakes. >> what they did was a much leaner staff. a by product there were former romney in the market tapped into
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them. in fact they used it in the big las vegas debate, right. >> in effect there were moles. barry was able to use old romney's consultants to tell him about his weaknesses. the thoracic -- tax didn't work all that. >> they did realize the romney people knew their guys didt skim. it is possible for him as my mom would say to get hot under the collar. that's why they went after him in the vegas debate on the issue of lawn service. heook the debate. he responded the wayhey expect him to win. he's rusted by runni below the radar by being disciplined by not doing a lot of intervi di ds week, we saw he wasn't ready. >> charlie: what about this, this is your former magazine. what's the answer to that question? >> it's one of the fascinating questions that's run through the romney biography, even when he was governor, the other publican governors didn't like him. the other candidates in 08 and
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the likability issue is something that has been on the minds of the romney advisors from the very beginning because they asked their friends how do we deal with this. it's very unusual problem in politics to haveyour guy not be likeable. this is where you start. >> charlie: he's not likeable because he's arrogant, he's not likeable because he's not a people person, he's not likeable because? >> he seems -- >> it's sort of a one second time delay before they speak. yodon't feel spontaneous to sort of prefige it there is that quality about romney that he's calculating the metrics and angs, never spontaneous or real. >> we talked to a wall streeter who had dinner with him. all the time that governor romney was having dinner with him he felt luke he was talking to a computer. he felt like he was processing. and it's part of the reason that human connection just hasn't left. the people around him enjoy him
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and like him. it's like remember people used to tell us what a great guy, from a hilarious guy al gore was behind the scenes. that's not when you run for president. >> they also telhim that i was certainly encouraged by this. romney had a bit of a dark side. he realizes the absurdity, to run for president it's such a humiliating physically taxing thing. he's able to laugh, he doesn't look like a funny guy. he has a warped humor. that's really a saving grace that he can laugh a little bit. >> charlie: does he have enough of a vision where the country is and where it's going, where it can go. >> not yet revealed. >> they to recognize that it could be a very short window if he's elected, to have time to get things done. to get things done based on the obama experience, right. like you have a very short time. you have a list of 59 things that he's going to do, he's
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planned much of his hundred days. they put out a big fat book with the plan and part of the message was -- >> charlie: the economic plan, the economic plan. >> 59 points, it's not one or two or three or four. >> charlie: let me come back, make this across the aisle to the democrats. you have been saying that part of president obama's problem is he doesn't connect wh people. >> he's not one of my keener insights. >> charlie: elaborate on how it's different tn from mitt romney. >> well he's president. and he's got a 43% approval rating which is where president carter was in 1979 in a similar point in the third year of his presidency. to play the analogy out a little bit longer, the republican field was unsettled in 1979. you had a front runner in ronald reagan who people thought was dangerous. they had a very clear idea of who they thought he was, unlike romney. that you might not want to trust
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this guy. >> charlie: dr. strange love. >> dr. strangelove or the nuclear cowboy. and the number two guy was a guess what, north eastern republican who seemed a little more centrist but who moved right through a decade. and who won iowa. >> crlie: named bush. >> named georgeerbert walker bush. in the prologue he, you've got a president who by all account, this is someone said to someone to someone so take it for what 's worth, that the president doesn't seem to enjoy his job. if you don't enjoy that job, god help all of us because it's the most incredibly difficult thing you can possibly imagine. fdr used to want to know who the potion master in akron was going to be. lbj, he put this in the wonderful book the promised
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land, a frnld came up lbj one late saturday night figuring out the school board election rates results. relaxing. that's how he relaxed. >> charlie: that's bill clinton too isn't it. >> that's bill clinton. i have a theory. successful politicians, successful presidents either adore people, clinton, bush, or they are lbj. >> charlie: 41 and 43. >> 43. but then you have kind of the nixon type. and the carter type. and perhaps the obama type. people who are brilliant in many ways but don't particularly joy. >> charlie: they go to the process because it's necessary to get to the end. >> precisely. there's not a lot of middle ground there and that's an interesting category. >> there was half a clinton, right. people are drawn to him which you did not have with nixon or some o the others. >> well but you had true
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believers. >> he survived until he couldn't anymore. >> the loners it takes a lot to run for president. john corey with lose all to do. clinton would grow and inflate. kerry you could see him deflating because he didn't want to be there. on martha's vineyardwhere they vacation -- i'm sorry, i'm sorry. [laughter] when bill clinton was there -- [laughter] >> charlie: go ahead. >> when bill clinton was there -- >> they were havg it condemned. [laughter] >> you couldn't escape bill clinton. the island was too small for bill clinton. he was in every ice cream schwab. with obama, not a trace.
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he's not there at all. there's no footprint at all except for a come golf games with his body man, that's it. >> charlie: i think this is really important because -- >> i do believe that, he has not as a clical matter awk survaluational historic matter he does not have a emotional connection with the country. that's the press' flt, it's the opposition's fault part of his fault. we can spend all day talking about the blame. in moment of fact in a democratic republican where you have a four year referendum on somebody, he's got toeal with that. or you know mr. power point is going to become president. >> charlie: mr. power point will be romney. >> i think so. >> what romney has is you have to really want, you saw the -- we heard from staffers that he didn't have the guts to make them move to minnesota. well why don't we last a couple months, go ahead and stay in
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washington by setting up virtual campaign. no, you have to be all in and insist that everyone around you be all in. one of the early moxy in the new romney the first time around they told us he started out too cocky. he told them where he was at and said he hopes they would come. he told his strategists he had to cse his washington office, move to massachusetts, boston, romney head quhoarts and devote himself to mitt romney and stuart stevens did. >> charlie: i want to come to wt new minute but first governorerry . >> it's a great story, he's good looking. what we have, he just didn't ke it that - wl two things. his back was killing him. >> charlie: i didn't know
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that. >> he wasn't sleeping well and he was visibly actually in pn at those debates. that's one fact. >> charlie: is it because he had t stem cell thing. >> he had an operation. he's alwaysad back problems but he had an operation on his back and he was cutting short his photo sessions because his back was hurting. >> he had to schedule 50 people to take a picture with him when they had 75 to a hundred donors because he couldn't stand there any longer. >> charlie: because of his back. >> yes. >> he was the willing, we had one example. running for president's about raising money. you got to kiss up to the big donors. there's a guy named al hoffman a big money guy republican party in florida and he expectso be invited on the plane. perry just couldn't be bothered and hoffman couldn't blame him. >> hoffman for personal reasons he was not going to go with romney. it's a huge chance for perry.
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and same with the debate prep. we saw with our own eyes he wasn't ready for the debate. we talked to former staffers, they say on his plane rather than studying for the debate, rather than boning up on policy when he was just getting started, they said he would tell frat type jokes looking at family pictures on his ipad. he had tourists on his own campaign. >> ty are in some ways too easy going to be presidential candidates. >> charlie: polente wanted to watc hockey. >> you cannot be normal person and run for president it doesn't work. >> charlie: romney's campaign manager told him what before the debate. >> one thing you see with romney that's really has been so much sharper in the debates this time. when you watch the wide shot, you're the only one of the candidates. i was in the hall the other night for the foreign policy debate. any one of the candidates that stairs intently, turns his body to whoever's been speaking. never takes notes, never refers to notes and he does that we're
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told to keep himself in the game. to look for opportunities, to think abt when he's about to get whacked. it's a sign, it's a little signify fire -- signifier he's thrown himself in this campaign. he really was it and is willing to do what it takes to do. they actually told us that running for president you' going to be humiliated every day whether it's by us or anyone. whether you wake up thinking i'm going to be humiliated today, it's a lot easier to take. that's what the former governor does. >> charlie: i don't see all this stuff in the morning. >>you don't. >> you shouldn't. every morning has a lot o this. what we're ableto do here was to tell the story ina bigger way than you can when you're getting ready for breakfast, when you're getting ready for
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your commute. do to the amazing inside professions you can tell these guys who they are and what it's like to run what they're like and what it's like. we sat down at evan's dining room table with tim polente, we said to him there's only a couple on the planet who know what this is really about. to have john king yelling at you, what's it like. he sat there for an hour and-a-half and told us. >> charlie: what did he say that was so rivetting. >> it was a big moment. >> there was real talk with him being a front runner. he was supposed to stick it to romney. and he went through the thing. >> obama care. >> he had this line all rehearsed and he coun't spit it t. he was trying t remember his swing thoughts. he had been overcoached. he had a three-part swing thought and he got his feet
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tangled and never got the le acrossed. significantly his wife. he's a nice guy, he listens to his wife and he just couldn't ll the trigger. >> it was another sign of the physical psychological order of this. in a split second what he was saying with is swing thoughts, he had two style coaches to help him with what he ould do on tv which is he ended up shouting which is not so good. what do i have to do for the republican base how do you reach out to swing voters, how do i hit obama. what did my wife say. i saw romney back stage and you have a fraction of a second. >> charlie: it's a remarkable scene. >> it's a classic of what it takes. dole, bush, all that. and to answer your column
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question about mike. mike is a journalist in washington now. i mean there's no doubt. and everybody wants to talk to him because he's fairnd gets it right. and people in power pay attention. and the goal here was to speak with some authority in an age where people feel totally immersed second by second sometimes. but stepping back for what, three months, four months, a cycle of reporting which in the old days would have been a year, a year and-a-half, you know. nobody, people would have been begging to come on to talk about the book a year after the race. we were talking about the news week project. that is the stuff that would get kraut of the project because people couldn't remember who tim
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polente was. i call this dick luger. you cover that and it got all it could. by doing this now, it matters and it matters to understa who these guys are. and as we're saying, what it's like to do this because too often we look at them as stock figures. and we don't understand that these are human beings. and these are incredibly process, incredibly difficult job but also they're running. there's a reasonwe use that image. >> charlie: here's something you learn fro reading this book that governor romney takes the skin off his chicken. >> and the cheese off his pizza. >> charlie: what does he e up when he takes the cheeses off. >> a healthier pizza. there's a huge appetite for this. there's a reaction on-line, people just tuning in right now and people like your viewers who have been ring-side for the whole thing.
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on-line we discovered there were people dropped into the itunes store at midnight a couple nights ago. we discovered on twitter, we discovered that there were readers who are waiting up, they were waiting for it to pop into the itunes store so they could read it right away. and right away you heard people start talking about it saying i suspected that now i know why. >> charlie: is this the community we live in this sort of political junkie community pat he pull that read you every morning or is it the public at large. is it huge curiosity. >> we're discovering the ratings, we're discovering it's national. you can put debates on broadcast tv and millions of people will watch it. i was home for thanksgiving with my brother scott in raleigh, did the fried turkeynd the whole deal. it's people who live in a totally different world, pharmaceuticals, are technology. they were all talki about the race. >> charlie: think about it for a moment. if you look at late night comments, most of the material is aut politics. >> sure.
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>> charlie: all of it by jon stewart. >> yes. >> youan't understand satire if you don't know what's being satirized. >> it's also -- >> homer got this. it's pursuing the grail, the most powerful job known to mankind. >> charlie: her who? >> homer simpson. you know, it is a great inherently a great yarn because the stakes are so high. but mere humans -- >> it's what shakespeare wrote about, come on. >> >> charlie: just give me my moment here. we did a series here about shakespeare. it's what shakespeare is about. jealousy, anger, treachery, scandal. we're going to get to newt
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gingrich in a moment. when you put this together, what were the guidelines for you. first of all you had to find the right guys. you had two of them right here. the two. what else. what were the imperatives for you in putting these four e books together. >> the imperative, what we're talking about is character is destiny. evan is the best writer of his kind of our time and mike can get everybody to talk. if this were not goo if this were people saying do you know what we discovered there's a thing called the inner web. and things are moving fast. that would be difrent. what this is, though, and we have to find a way, all of uso who are in the content business, whether we're on at night or in the morning just to use an example at random. >> charlie: only one person i saw at night and in morning. >> we were talking before, it
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used to be you could go to bed with charlie and he will leave. he will be there in the morning and it will be mainful mainful- painful for a lot of us. you've just got to be where the ducks are. >> charlie: there's also this. there were some aides put together with the opposition research and presented it to him and said i don't think i'm going to run. >> it's part of the acculturation. the people around cain did not want to tell him. the way that one close advisor put it to me was it's nev going to barack obama. he looked at it for a long time. what they came up with in their own research ty said if they can do it in a few weekse can
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do it in a few weeks. they didn't do it in their normal meeting. they had scott reid tir top advisor doing it man to man. >> they had to run up on their own guy. you don't run for president unless you hired some guys. >> charlie: -- where is the next bimbo explosion. do you remember that, betsy. >> he was going from bourbon to cabernet, and so he took this like a man and governor barber's a formidable figure. >> charlie: newt gingrich. what's happened to him? what do you think? >> he' been -- he says that original staff he had, i said they were running on 20 year old ideas.
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they kept telling him in south carolina there are always going to be dirty tricks based on the fact his wife is much younger than him, third wife. he said the old way of thinking. he says the's a new way to run a campaign. >> again it's onhat scale, the grd scale. and he compared his wifeo nancy reagan, the same relationship that ronnie had. >> what's so fascinating -- >> crlie: what did he call it, illusi. >> i think there are textbook that describe it. >> what's fascinatg about it was the early staff interestingly enough a lot of it went to perry, the early staff left. they told me in large part because of ms. gingrich, she wouldn't let him spend the night in iowa. she wouldn't let him spend a couple nights. that's how you run for
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president. they said that she was not letting him. now she's been empowered. >> charlie: through all the e-mails he says. >> if you work on the campaign it's the worst nightmare to have the candidate's wife looped into the e-mail chain. >> it's possible you could run for president out of a tv studio. i don't think you can but the game has changed here a little bit. >> charlie: he wants something. >> whether it's thend ofhe day effective that is what he's doing. >> remember, we have the romney phenomena running through the thing so everybody's had a moment. >> charlie: i think it's too early to put him in that place. >> remember in 1995, he changed politics forever and he was out of congress four years later. >> charlie: so you think this ll -- >> i don't kno but if history is any guide, he will say somethg or do something. >> he has trouble with prosperity. i remember having dinner at my house in washington we brought
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the editors down in new york. >> charlie: that was in 94/95. >> the liberal media bias here but they were presented not to like this new guy. they were dazzled by him. just as he was going out the door he sounded crazy and he blew his whole -- he won them over but at the end, he couldn't stand prosperity and he lost his audience. >> that's the romney theory of the case. we're going to date all these other candidates. the 25% he's stuck at, that that's his floor not his ceiling and that he'll start good. people aren't looking. we keep asking about likability. the romney people will tell you that's not the right question. people are not looking for someone to like right now. and competent. somebody who can use that eight month window to rllyet something done like he did in turning around the salt lake olympic in 20 on 02. >> charlie: dukakis said
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that's what it's about. i think he's got lot of draw backs and lots of vulnerability. newt and herman cain, newt and michele bachmann? come on. >> i'll give u an example. did this project where we interviewed bill clinton about what good is government and then we interviewed newt gingrich. clinton was president and gingrich was speaker. >> charlie: that's theupside that he's interesting but there's also -- >> clinton was sitting there with all the speech writers around him. newt is able to wing it and pretty impressively. >> first title of this e book series, there will be four of them. this is the first. the political play book 2012, the inside story of american politics. we can't wait for three more. goodo see you, thank you. >> it's a treat. >> pleasure.
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>> charlie: karl marx is an influential speakers of our history with wide political thought including history economics and philosophy. 125 years ago the are countless books written about him. mary gabriel tells the story of the marx family and the closest associates. it is called love and capital. karl and jenny marx. i'm pleased to have marie gabriel at this table for the first time. >> thank you. >> chaie: here's a manuel known in history more for his ideas i think tha his personal life and you decide to write about him. >> yes. i had just moved to london and i was looking for a sject. and marx had a very big presence there. and i wanted to, i was looking for an angle. you can imagine there are libraries of bookshat have been written about him. but ictually found that his personal life had been neglected incredibly. even inommunist cntries, even in russia and places like
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vietnam i've had correspond and i never knew this about him. >> charlie: what does his personal life tell us about his ideas. >> first of all it describes where are the roots of his ideas were in the struggles of his own family. i mean he grew up in an intellectual environment but it was all theory. by the time he had three ch nd was living in london withoanyut money without speaking the languagwithtou aan job, he came tow kno a the material reality of suffering. and i think he could have been a great theorists if he had stayed but living the li he did produced marx who we know marx the artist and marx the person who i actually describe with great passion what the laboring american was going through. not that he was a laboring person he was always an intellectual but he always did understand what it was like to live in poverty in world of wealth. >> charlie: what kind of access did you have to original materials. >> that was really great and that was a real break through for me because i was looking for the family's letters. i wanted to get to know him through his wife and his daughters as well as his friend
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fred rick inglis. those have been published in multiple volumes and different languages. the mother and wife have been neglected. i found in moscow archive letters that had never been published in english, thousands of pages which really helped tell the story of this man, the women. >> charlie: where do they come from. >> well, the marx's eldest daughterad children. none of his other dauters had children that rvived into adulthood. they were passed along by that family and donated by at that time family to th marx lengthen inglis archives in moscow which is now the rush state archives and they've been sitting in a vault. that's one book published in russian using these letters. but the project was abandoned and never went to the full two volumes. and they haven't really been circulated in the left. >> charlie: in what language. >> english. because the daughters were raised in britain. >> charlie: you had to len
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russian. >>xactly i didn't have to learn russian. marx wrote to his friends in german but anything involving the daughters was in english. >> charlie: who was jenny marx. >> jenny marx wa karl's wife. she was born the daughter of a baron. she met marx when she was a young girl at 21 family friend. they fell in love with each other when he was 17 and she was 21. both had this romantic notion they were going to set out and save mankind with 12,000 people. charlie: and were they life long, did they have a wonderful marriage. >> they had a wonderful marriage but like any wonderful marria it had many ups and downs. they had a lot of tgedy. four of their seven chiren di whenhey were quite young of poverty-related illnesses. and marx was a bit of a
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flanlderrer. it was a political decision he had to make, if he had -- >> charlie: this is a kid whose name is frederick. >> inglis, marx's closest associate. ink us was a real womanizer and really loved women and he thought it wouldn't ruin his reputation one bit if he had a child out of wedlock. >> charlie: so he did that r his friend. >> he did. >> charlie: the relationship with inglis and marx. >> from 1844 until marx's death in 1933. it was as close as two men could possibly be. they were closer than jenny and marx. they were intellectual exam yuntz. they were the best of friends. they shared really everything and inglis in fact was the person who took care of the mark family. marx never really had a job. he worked for a new york newspaper for while but it didn't earn much money and marx was terrible with money anyway.
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so inglis went to the father's factory. >> charlie: caller -- karl marx died when. >> in 1883. i was known in opposition circles but only in germany and slightly in france and a little bit in england but not really very well. 11 people went to his funeral. >> charlie: 11. >> 11 people, yes and most of them would have been his family. he had writings, he produced volume one of das kapita. no one read it. he had written the communist manifesto. but it was written under his name, it was anonymous when it was produced. he had several thing that were picked up but he was not in any way the karl marx that we came to know in the 20th century. >> charlie: had marx engaged brilliant contemporary such as mills who was wrapped with the same question he might have seen the world wasn't working the way
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that he and inglis predict. >> i kind of differ with her a little bit on those points. i'm not quite sure what she's getting at because in fact marx was in touch with jon stewart mills. in fact marx's first really widely read was was an antiwar document. it was so great that he actually gave marx the money to produce 30,000 copies of it. and i think that, i mean it's just little bit difference of opinion and ditches of style. marx was a solitary thinker, i was an introvert, he loved his study and he love his books. that was all the material he needed to create this world. i think she says he had never gone to a faory but in fact inglis took marx to manchester, the heart of the industrial world in 1845. and he saw first happened not just the factory workers but the way the factory workers had to life. the felt in which they live so he was very well acquainted with
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the actual suffering. >> charlie: and the relevance of karl marx today. >> it's amazing. his ideas on socialism and communism were utopian in the extreme. but his depiction or his descriion of capitalism was pretty much right on the money and as we see what's happened, the excess. charlie: capitalism being debated today around the world. >> exactly. i think it's really interesting to go back and read marx and see the predictions. not necessarily he wouldn't have called them predictions but what he saw the progression of capitalism which was the state we're , we're such amall percentage of the population controls all the wealth. even the middle class is absorbed into this ever expanding base wit noreal clear path to get to that 1%. >> chare: there arehose o say that's exactly happened. >> exactly. >> charlie: and the failure of communism. >> that's very interesting was the communism we know, soviet communism, chinese communism and
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all of the variations, i think actually bears no relation to marx whatsoever. when you read marx, he comes across as a moderate socialist, democratic tendencies. >> charlie: more like a social democrat. >> exactly. i mean that's the thing that's so kind of sad about marx's legacy. he's as responsible for the british labor party which grew out of the independent labor party which was born out of his ideas. i mean, their manifesto reads like marx had written it although he was already dead. the social democratic party of germany, the socialist party in france, the social -- socialist party of spain are all from marx's thinking and he's only so is -- associated with the atrocity. >> charlie: if they looked at china today what would they say. >> i think they would be horrified. china is a capitalist state. >> charlie: there are those
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who say state capitalism has rescued them and the same capitalism that brought more people into the middle class than anything in the historyof the world. >> right. but there's a evolution isn't there and this is a stage this is an early stage perhaps the state capitalism where there is an expandingmiddle class in a consumer society and a booming economy. but there's a natural progression of that and we've seen it in our country. that the excesses of that top few begin to kind of take over and the middle class then is absorbed in the lower classes. i think this is just the beginning of capitalism of china so we can't call this a mature ste. >> charlie: do you think capitalism in america is a failure. >> i do. i'm not in any way a marxist, i just think that a society that's this unfair and this skewed toward the rich that are taking, it's taking away the social responsibility that a state has toward its people, you know. no matter, although people
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always say this is the best hethcare sysm in the country, it is for those who can afford it. the educational system is terrible. agriculture funding and the school lunchrogram cal pizza a healthy food and a vegetable. our social safety net has a lot of holes in it and i think for that reason capital sists they could oducsuch wealth and take care of so manyitizens. >> charlie: some argue that e reason they have social saty net and the reason that the chinese for example as one group of people have such a high savis rate is there's no circle so therefore they're protecting themselves. >> right and i guess there's one thing. that actually is howhis country was found and that's why ithin so many people have a terrible impression or a suspicion of socialism because this is a country founded on pulling one self up by one's bootstrap. that works i think when society,
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at the beginning of the u.s., the society was such that there were fewer people and there was a chance, there were many opportunities. but i think things have changed and the evolution society is such that there are a lot of people who are just never going to make it. >> charlie: did diving into karl marx and understanng his personal life as well as his professional life change in the way you look at world checks today. >> it did it changed the way i look at economics and it really gave me hope in a way. because as dire as things are now, th were worse then. in the middle of the 19th century when marx and people of his leagues and people who weren't like him politically were all searching for a way out of this system that existed for thousands of years that were absolute monarchs in a gornmentun by an aristocracy. that was a much larger problem than the one 're facing today. we're just trying to tweak the social system that's only been in place for a couple hundred
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years. and i think that that's much easier given state of our society which we still hav free press and we still have freedom of awe selfably and we still have freedom of speech which some people today are saying that's not quite happening the way it should in california. but i think that we're in a much better position. and the thing that are lacking right now are ideas, new ideas but i guess they'll come. they came in the 19th century. >> charlie: great to have you here. >> thank you very much. >> charlie: lee child is here. in 1995 he had a good fortune of being fired from hisob a television director. he sat down with pen and pencid wrote the book. 15 books later child has become one on of the most scessful novelists writing today. the new one is called the affair. i'm pleased to have him here at
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this table for the first time. welcome. >> thank you nice to be here. >> charlie: this is a great story. you had achieved a rather interesting place in british television. you were working on interesting things, youiked your work. you would have been there for a long time unle somebody came and said no more. >> absolutely right, i would be there now. i would still be ther i left it. it was a great country and a great job. we did terrific stuff with great people and i loved every single day untilhe regulations changed, management changed, and they took the usual way out which is identify anybody whose been there a while got a decent salary got some benefits, get rid of them. so i was on vacation actually. got home and found a message on my machine saying you're fired. >> charlie: is that rig. you get fired on the machine. >> don't come back to work and i never did. >> charlie: then you said at?
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>> i said what next, which was both a problem and really an opportunity which is a terrible cliche. but it was. i was 39 or nearly 40. and that is a bad time but also the last time you're going to be able to make a major change. it's halfway through. you've learned a lot, you've0zt a lot of skills and habits. this is the time that you can say do you know what i'm going to do something different now and spend the second half of your career doing something different and it was just the right time for me. i felt like there's a line in that first book that sums it up for me. it says i tried it their way now i'm going to try it my way. and that's what i did. >> charlie: so when you told your father you were going to try it your way what did he say. >> my father's an accountant and he said i'll lay you 10,000 to one it doesn't work. which to be honest a fair assement. to say you're going to make a living writing fiction it's really like saying i'm going to win the lot of re on the same day ge hit by lighning
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twice. 's extraordinarily unlikely but you have to believe it can happen. >> charlie: did you say i can do this or did you say this is worth trying at least. >> i talked myself into it subliminally. this is going to work, no doubt whatsoever like night follows day this is going to work. and i felt looking back on it i did that because otherwise you would just be so paralyzed with the possibility it was the going to work and you wouldn't get anywhere. >> charlie: how do you go about creating a character. >> i knew enough from all those years in show biz. you can't design it. you can't sit there and say okay i need x, y and z. i need a, b and c because that rket's sewn up. i knew nothing. i was writing instinctively. >> charlie: you didn't go look at books on writing.
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>> i guess i knew that subliminally because i had been reading all my life. the ups and downsand high points and low points were in there, but i didn't sum it up and say i've got to copy this guy or avoid what that guy does. i just wrote. looking back on it i picked up plenty from great writers of the past absolutely. >> charlie: jack of five. >> i just wanted to let people know it's great to be six five. there are a lot of unearned benefits in life. >> charlie: it's great to be six five. so you set out and took you what, six months. >> about five months that first year because it was a race against time, i was broke. >> charlie: were you showing it to anybody or did you wait until you finished. >> i wait until i finish which i still do. anybody sees it until it's finished. >> charlie: nobody. not your wife your friend not anybody. >> she used to read it chapter by chapter when it seemed very tense but now i wait until it's finished. >> charlie: how do you avoid formula. >> i think i avoided it by
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making richer -- you have no location and he has no job which is unusual in this genre because normally they're a cop in l.a. or a private eye in boon or whatever and that sets up a certain shape i think. i avoided that. he's a drifter essentially. he goes from place to place. >> charlie: he solves things. >> he stays out of trouble but once a year trouble finds him and he has to deal with it. the freedom from formula is that he can be anywhere doing anything. keeps it very fresh for me. >> charlie: in the affair, people have always wondered where did jack come from. they've known that. >> i thought it's about tim i'm very fond of him, i have is a of 15 books and they want to know why did his life change. not why mine change. >> charlie: he was an m.p. in the army. >> he was and then suddenly he
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was not. he had a good time in the military. why did he leave. this book tells that story. it was also an opportunity to revisit in 1997 because i'm kind of fascinatedith how even though it was relatively recently, when you live day by day you forget how different things were. pre 2001 we lived in a very different environment. he has an affair. >> yes, this is the motion romantic. >> charlie: why is it the most romantic. >> the last two didn't have no romantic entanglements. the last two he was just going from a to z. i don't want to do three in a row where he doesn't have some fun so it was the question let's put it in this and if we're going too it let's do it for real. >> charlie: then comes the girl. >> yes, the girl. and the girl is one of the typical characters, woman
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character in a reacher book she's as tough as he is and smart as he is. >> charlie: that's what you write about. most people say your books are tough and smart, they're like him, right. >> that's spirit. because i think thas what women are. i love women and women are smarter than us and generally speaking tougher. >> charlie: 50 books. how many books. 50 million copies, i think. 50 million copies in 40 languages. >> yes. >> charlie: that's a lot of books. >> it is a lot of books and i'm very happy about it. and people say to me, how many books have you sold. and i say actually 16. i sell one a year to the publisher and those sales figures are actually the publisher's achievement rather than mine. >> charlie: you're just the one person. >> i sell it to them and they market it and they do a fantastic job. >> charlie: how much of this do you do in terms of interviewing talking about the book. >> twice a year a couple months around the world. >> charlie: so you have a big international audience. >> yes. >> charlie: certainly in great britain. >> europe, australia, new
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zealand. huge in bulgaria. >> charlie: have you gotten better. >> i've gotten more confident. i knew how to do it now and i would think that the well of ideas migh be getting a little tired. but certainly the facility is always there, the energy is always the but it's a question of one thing balances the other. >> charlie: did you create a character you could imagi as a television character. >> qte the opposite. the thing about reacher a lot of it is very internal. people love how he thinks. the ideas he has, the comments he makes to himself. and that's very hardo do on the screen which is why it's taken so long for hollywood to actually get going on it. they had to find a way of getting what was internal to him out there on the sound track. and reacher never changes and hollywood loves the idea that a character should go on a journey and be different at the end of the story than at the beginning. and reach's appeal actually is
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he's unchanged. he's unyielding. he's the same guy toe end of the story as he is in the beginning. >> charlie: that's a co-integrity people have. >> integrity and wisdom. it's not that he's learning as he goes alo he already knew. it's a question of making sure other people know. >> charlie: do you think we know why he knew. >> i think because he's a self confident guy. i get asked that question a lot and people say well you seem to know your own mind and i say yes well i would hope you. if iasn't sure about one or two things by now i certainly should be. >> charlie: are you tempted to go outside character. >> no. i'm the by who writes reacher. a certain amount of predictability is necessary in the entertainment business. somebody buys my book they want to know what they're getng. >> charlie: it's brand. >> yes. it's more than a brand it's about a transaction. they want something and i'm here to give it to them. >> charlie: what's the biggest risk you've ever taken. >> in life personally. >> charlie: no. in the book. either way in life.
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>> clearly in life it's starting over in that very insecure profession. >> charlie: with him, with the character. >> the biggest risi ever took was a few books back where he reveals that he's very opposed to the u.s.'s involvement in iraq which was not well received by his audience but ironically the words they objected to were es taken e-mailed me. there was an intimate relationship over e-mail and they were over the years telling me their feelings and i put those feelings in reacher's mouth. so they were absolutely authentic but even so there would be a risk exposing that to the audience. >> charlie: you said interestingly about living in new york that you alws knew inside of you was a new yorker. >> yes. >> charlie: worked and lived >> i was just a little kid when i first knew. there was just something about it. i saw a picture of new york and i just felt should be there. and it was actuall mystery to me why he wasn't there.
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>> charlie: called the affair, a reacher novel. lee child, thank you. >> thank you.
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